In a medium bowl mix flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add ghee and yogurt and gently mix to make dough. Lightly press together all the ingredients until the dough just comes together. It’s ok for the dough to be uneven. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Make syrup. Add sugar, water, saffron and cardamom to a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and add lemon juice and rose water. Simmer for 5 to 7 mins or until you get a one-string consistency. Turn the heat off and reserve. Turn the heat off and reserve.
Preheat air fryer at 350 for 5 minutes.
Lightly knead the dough again and make 10 balls. Shape each ball into a round and then lightly press it down to form a 1.5 inch to 2-inch disc. Using your pointer finger make a hole through the center. This step helps the center to cook evenly. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Line the air fryer basket with parchment paper.
Place the Balushahi on the parchment paper keeping distance between them.
Air fry at 320 F for 15 minutes. Once the air fryer is done cooking, take the basket out. If the Balushahi's are not lightly golden brown air fry again at 370 F for 2 minutes.
Gently place the Balushahi in the warm syrup and allow them to soak for 20 minutes. Then take out the Balushahi with a slotted spoon and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a platter. Garnish with sliced pistachios and edible dried rose petals.
Stove Top Method: To make traditional deep-fried Balushahi, heat oil in a frying pan. Add 2 to 3 Balushahi and fry on low heat until the Balushahi's are lightly golden Oven Method: Preheat the oven at 350 F. Line the Balushahis on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes turning the Balushahi halfway through. Make sure to check the Balushahi at 15 minutes and more time as needed. Tips
Sift the all-purpose flour. Make the dough with light hands and knead it just until the dough ball comes together
Shape the discs with light hands. Usually, the traditional Balushahi have thumbprints, but I make a donut-like hole to ensure they cook evenly especially in the air fryer or oven.
Check out my detailed notes below on how to make the one-string sugar syrup. Undercooking the syrup will make the Balushahi soft while overcooking will make the outer covering too hard.
Adding lemon juice to the cooked sugar syrup will prevent the syrup from crystallizing. Make sure the syrup is warm when you add the air fried Balushahi's to it
Allergic to nuts? Simply skip the garnish in the end
How to make one-string Sugar SyrupMaking perfect one-string consistency sugar syrup or "Chasni" is key in this recipe. Here are my tips for making perfect syrup every single time and these tips will also come in handy for other desserts like Rava Ladoo, Besan Burfi, or other Indian sweets that use sugar syrup. Here are all of my tips and scroll below to the instructions for the photos of this process.
Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan to make the syrup. I use a 2-quart saucepan. If your saucepan is smaller or thin, it may take you less time.
Once the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a boil, lower the heat and allow the syrup to simmer for 6 to 7 minutes.
Check for one-string consistency. There are 2 ways to do this: Method 1: The is the traditional method. Add a few drops of syrup on a small plate and allow it to cool for a few seconds. Then dip your index finger in the syrup and press it on your thumb. Slowly open and close the index and thumb finger and you should see a string being formed between the two fingers. For best results remember to allow the syrup to cool just a bit before you test it. Method 2: Use a digital thermometer and dip it in the syrup. For accuracy, make sure that the thermometer tip is not touching the bottom of the pan. Once the thermometer reaches 220 F which should be around the 6 to 7-minute mark the syrup is ready.
Adding lemon juice to the cooked sugar syrup will prevent the syrup from crystallizing as you wait for the dough balls to cook.